Last Updated: June 28, 2019
I can never get enough of good Italian food.
In Singapore, the best Italian restaurants are either fine dining establishments, or hidden gems nestled in some sleepy neighbourhood.
Finding itself in the latter category is Zazz Pizza, a casual Italian joint situated near Rochor MRT station.
It is located in close proximity to LASALLE College of the Arts but otherwise looks like just any other basic, easily dismissed eatery.
The exterior’s dull red awning wasn’t exactly attention-grabbing either.
The prospect of trying Chef Hiran Fernando’s Neapolitan-style pizzas was certainly more inviting than the no-frills interior.
Chef Hiran boosts an impressive repertoire of understated pizzas and pasta, including the popular Squid Ink Tagliolini (S$20) and Ravioli Della Case (S$12). Housemade desserts and locally-supplied gelato are available if you want to end your meal on a sweet note.
The condiment-lined work station is overlooked by a wood-fired oven, where the magic happens.
Having cooled ourselves down with glasses of homemade iced tea, we were ready for our first dish, the Zazz Salad (S$11).
Salads usually get overlooked, but this had my undivided attention.
No longer a simple mesclun salad, it had been jazzed (or should I say zazzed) up with croutons, roasted pumpkin, ricotta, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate, red and white quinoa, dried figs and toasted hazelnuts.
If you need even more variety, go for extra toppings like grilled pesto chicken and fresh mozzarella at an additional charge of S$2.50 each.
You can also choose from a range of salad dressings, but we got to try the Zazz Special Vinaigrette, a zingy concoction I instantly fell head over heels for.
Even though the salad leaned towards a sweeter flavour profile, its textural complexity was refreshing. I appreciated that there was something new with every forkful.
What else can I say about the lovely side of caramelised onion bruschetta other than sweet?
Moving on, we went for an appetiser of Chilli Crab Cake (S$12.50), breaded and assembled with chunks of fresh crab meat.
The spice from the crab cakes wasn’t too discernible, but they were elevated by a squeeze of lemon juice and the accompanying spicy arrabbiata sauce.
You will never go wrong with the Chicken Wings (S$11), each piece marinated with Italian spices and deep-fried to a golden brown.
Fresh chicken is used to ensure tender and succulent meat. The versatile arrabiata sauce made an appearance once again, helping to cut through the inevitable greasiness.
Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
I got to witness the birth of the burrata pizza.
Most of the ingredients, including the hand-stretched dough, are prepared in-house with no artificial preservatives.
Chef Hiran expertly lifts the pizza up and manoeuvres it around, checking on its char level.
Due to the intense heat of the wood-fired oven, baking each pizza takes no longer than a couple of minutes.
Fresh out of the oven, the pizza is dressed with basil leaves.
Before serving, it is adorned with a mound of fresh burrata and topped off with salt, pepper, and a final drizzle of olive oil.
I couldn’t wait to dig into the Burrata Pizza (S$26)!
Every slice spotted a charred, chewy crust of the right consistency, without being too “doughy” or “biscuity”.
The fresh lightness of the zesty tomato sauce nicely balanced out the rich mozzarella and creamy burrata, classic flavours everyone can agree on.
You’re supposed to evenly smear the burrata all over the pizza. From then on, every bite left us in dairy-induced delight.
We only managed to try a mere fraction of the menu, but there’s a dish for every occasion.
Elements like the Build Your Own (S$16 + regular toppings) pizza menu, Loyalty Programme and the affordably priced wines reinforce Zazz’s concept of fuss-free Italian food for all. They are also in the process of refreshing the menu, so check their Facebook page for updates.
Oh, did I mention that there’s no GST or service charge?
Let’s face it, Zazz Pizza has pizazz. Let it be underrated no more.
Expected Damage: S$25 – S$30 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
1a Short St, #01-03, Singapore 188210
1a Short St, #01-03, Singapore 188210